FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Pledge of Allegiance v. the Constitution

by Tarif Abboushi

In placing the blame for the current violence squarely on the Palestinians, President Bush has come up lamentably short.

Replace your leadership, Bush tells the Palestinians. Meanwhile, the United States does business with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, whose bloodied past led an Israeli commission of inquiry to charge him with a level of responsibility for a war crime, deeming him unfit to serve as his country’s defense minister. We receive Sharon out of our unshakable commitment to democracy. It suffices that he is Israel’s elected leader. But no such courtesy is extended to the Palestinians. Elected or not, Yasser Arafat and the current leadership must go. Re- electing it is impermissible. Democracy be damned.

Adopt a constitution, President Bush demands of the Palestinians.

Israel has never had a constitution. It has a set of laws, some blatantly racist in their assignment of privilege based on religion, but no constitution. We could offer Israel a copy of the U.S. Constitution, except, of course, it would require the dismantling of Israel’s Zionist infrastructure.

Build a democracy based on tolerance and liberty, the president beseeches the Palestinians.

A democracy based on tolerance is presumably one that, like our great democracy, has at its core the separation of church and state. And a democracy based on liberty? Can we understand that to be one that does not deny liberty to anyone, a concept fundamentally incompatible with the notion of militarily occupying another people’s land?

Neither parameter fits the Israeli model of democracy.

To his credit, Bush has recognized and stated that Israeli settlement activity must stop, and that the Israeli occupation must end. But his position is plagued by the same inconsistencies that have tarnished his attempts at statesmanship in the Middle East in the past. On the one hand, he conditions U.S. support for the creation of a Palestinian state on the Palestinian people having “new security agreements with their neighbors,” meaning their Israeli neighbors. Yet he also states that a “Palestinian state is necessary to achieve the security that Israel longs for.” A Palestinian state is necessary for Israeli security, but support for a Palestinian state will be withheld until Israel is secure.

There is a way out of the stalemate. It is to recognize, and base our policy, on the principle of cause and effect. The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory preceded — by decades, no less — Palestinian terror attacks against Israel. The occupation and colonization of the West Bank and Gaza are not a response to the terror, but the reason for it.

President Bush must understand this simple truth before he can successfully formulate a process to turn his vision of two independent, viable, secure states into reality. Failing that, Palestinians and Israelis alike will be doomed for the remainder of Bush’s presidency — waiting for salvation which never comes.

Tarif Abboushi is a director of the Houston chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

 

More articles by:
May 25, 2016
Eric Draitser
Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?
Dan Arel
The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party
Marc Estrin
Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs
Sam Husseini
Layers of Islamophobia: Do Liberals Care That Hillary Returned “Muslim Money”?
Susan Babbitt
Invisible in Life, Invisible in Death: How Information Becomes Useless
Mel Gurtov
Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?
Kathy Kelly
Hammering for Peace
Dick Reavis
The Impeachment of Donald Trump
Wahid Azal
Behind the Politics of a Current Brouhaha in Iran: an Ex-President Ayatollah’s Daughter and the Baha’is
Jesse Jackson
Obama Must Recommit to Eliminating Nuclear Arms
Colin Todhunter
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey as Terror: the Role of Ankara in the Brexit Referendum
Dave Lindorff
72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
Uri Avnery
Israeli Weimar: It Can Happen Here
John Stauber
Why Bernie was Busted From the Beginning
James Bovard
Obama’s Biggest Corruption Charade
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
Indian Point Nuclear Plant: It Doesn’t Take a Meltdown to Harm Local Residents
Desiree Hellegers
“Energy Without Injury”: From Redwood Summer to Break Free via Occupy Wall Street
Lawrence Davidson
The Unraveling of Zionism?
Patrick Cockburn
Why Visa Waivers are Dangerous for Turks
Robert Koehler
Rethinking Criminal Justice
Lawrence Wittner
The Return of Democratic Socialism
Ha-Joon Chang
What Britain Forgot: Making Things Matters
John V. Walsh
Only Donald Trump Raises Five “Fundamental and Urgent” Foreign Policy Questions: Stephen F. Cohen Bemoans MSM’s Dismissal of Trump’s Queries
Andrew Stewart
The Occupation of the American Mind: a Film That Palestinians Deserve
Nyla Ali Khan
The Vulnerable Repositories of Honor in Kashmir
Weekend Edition
May 20, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Hillary Clinton and Political Violence
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail